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4 Powerful Ways to Double Your Productivity (Without Coffee)

4 Powerful Ways to Double Your Productivity (Without Coffee)

For decades now, we have depended on the caffeine from coffee to keep us alert and productive.

While coffee can be beneficial, it also has its downsides, as we wrote in Rype’s blog. In fact, coffee is not a necessary component for us to increase our productivity if we have the right strategies in place.

By leveraging the resources we have in our lives, planning our day strategically, and some mindful practices, we can get more done in less time without depending on coffee.

Here are the 4 powerful ways to double your productivity.

1. Practice the art of not thinking

The skill of not thinking is one that is easier said than done.

Our brains are wired to constantly be thinking, that it feels strange to simply shutting of our thoughts. In fact, the average individual has over 60,000 thoughts a day!

This is where meditation comes in.

For decades now, meditating has been the go to practice for stress relief.
The endless benefits of meditation includes: increased attention span, improving brain function, better quality of sleep, and more.

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Meditation does not necessarily mean sitting cross-legged in a pitch black room with your eyes closed (although it could). Depending on your personality, meditation could mean a mantra you say to yourself, a relaxing breakfast where you savor each bite, or it could even mean taking a nice, long hike. Here are the several unique ways to meditate, depending on your personality.

2. Priming

Priming is another powerful method that can help you feel more energy by changing your physical state, boost brain power, and preparing your mind to increase productivity in the morning.
If forcing yourself not to think seems impossible, then priming may be for you.

Here is the method that Tony Robbins advocates:

The first thing you should do is change your physical state. This could mean hopping into a cold shower, doing a few jumping jacks, or deep breathing for 30 seconds. If you want to learn the full method of breathing that Tony preaches, click here to listen.

From there, you:

#1. Sit up on your bed or chair and close your eyes.

#2. Think of three things that you’re grateful for, spending one minute thinking of each (3 minutes)

Ask yourself questions like:

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  • Who do you love?
  • Who loves you?
  • What is the wealth you have currently in your life — technology? choices? friends? books? ideas? opportunities?
  • What’s right in your life?
  • What’s beautiful?
  • What’s magical?

#3. Think of three things that you envision yourself creating in your life. Focus on the future, but state it as if you have already achieved it.

It could be:

  • “I’m a successful entrepreneur, living life the way I want, with my own rules.”
  • “I have the deepest, most loving relationship with my partner.”
  • “I can speak fluent Spanish and able to connect with anyone as I travel.”

3. Take strategic breaks

Sleep deprivation is a big deal, and even a norm in our society.

A recent Harvard study estimated that sleep deprivation costs American companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity. When we’re working at high intensity for more than 90 minutes, we begin to rely on stress hormones — adrenalin, noradrenalin and cortisol — to keep us going.  In the process, we move from parasympathetic to a sympathetic arousal — a physiological state more commonly known as “fight or flight.”

This doesn’t have to mean sleeping 10 hours a day, instead of your normal 8.
By taking strategic naps during the day, you can revitalize your mind and give your brain the rest it needs to increase productivity.

When night shift air traffic controllers were given 40 minutes to nap — and slept an average of 19 minutes — they performed higher on tests that measured vigilance and reaction time.

Longer naps have an even more profound impact than shorter ones. Sara C. Mednick, a sleep researcher at the University of California, Riverside, found that a 60 to 90-minute nap improved memory test results as fully as did eight hours of sleep.

In addition to strategic naps, a tactic that is shared by Buffer is called the Pomodoro Technique.

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Here’s how it works:

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    This means 25 minutes of distraction-free work — without Facebook, phone notifications, or multi-tasking! Just one task only.

    If you’re serious about testing out the Pomodoro Technique, here are the tools required to get started:

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      How many Pomodoro’s should you go through per day?

      One of the writers at Buffer experimented this on himself, and found that he only needed 40 Pomodoro’s in order to get all of his weekly tasks done.

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        Keep in mind, this will depend on each individual and you should adjust everything shared according to your own preference. This could mean working in 40 minute spurts instead of 25, or taking 10 minutes off instead of 5. Go nuts!

        4. Have a support team

        No matter what we’re doing, we weren’t meant to go at it alone.

        Whether it’s a friend, family, partner, or coach, building a support team of positive people around you is one of the most effective ways to rest your brain and maintain your health.

        For high-level executives, this could mean working with a business coach to help them make better decisions.

        For business owners, this could mean outsourcing tasks that you hate doing, that will give you the time and headspace to focus on what you love doing.

        For language learners, this could mean working with a language coach, to save you the wasted time that comes with learning on your own, and keeping you accountable.

        “Individually we are one drop. But together, we are an ocean.”

        Going at it alone can be the biggest stressor and detriment for many of us.

        Build yourself a pond, then a lake, and soon you will have an ocean.

        Over to you!

        Which of these tips was your favorite to increase productivity?
        What is your experience with burning out and lacking rest?
        Share with us below!

        p.s – if you enjoyed this, you’ll also enjoy reading How to Find More Time In Your Schedule to Learn Something New, and 7 Research-Backed Ways to Stop Procrastinating (And Get More Done)

        More by this author

        Sean Kim

        Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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        Last Updated on February 11, 2021

        10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

        10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

        Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

        You have to work hard to develop the right skills

        If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

        1. Make your presentation short and sweet

        With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

        JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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        2. Open up with a good ice breaker

        At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

        • Joking
        • Tugging on their heart strings
        • Dropping a bombastic statement
        • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
        • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

        You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

        3. Keep things simple and to the point

        Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

        4. Use a healthy dose of humor

        Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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        It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

        5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

        Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

        6. Practice your delivery

        Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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        7. Move around and use your hands

        Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

        8. Engage the audience by making them relate

        Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

        9. Use funny images in your slides

        Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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        10. End on a more serious note

        When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

        As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

        Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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